“Just what is confirmation, anyway?” Confirmation is a pastoral and educational ministry of the church which helps the baptized child through word and sacrament to identify more deeply with the Christian community and participate more fully in its mission. The PASTORAL aspect of confirmation ministry is the loving care which the whole church family of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church expresses for the well-being of our young people. The EDUCATIONAL aspect is the help that our congregation provides for each of our students to know, confess, and grow within the Christian faith, assuming a more responsible role as a child of God within the world. To IDENTIFY with the Christian Community means to see oneself as a member of the body of Christ and to feel oneself committed to our Lord and Savior and the purpose of his church. To PARTICIPATE MORE FULLY means accepting responsibility for the mission of the church and relating it to ones’ own time and situation. The MISSION OF THE Christian Community is both the proclamation of God’s love and the expression of that love in service to humankind and in the care of God’s creation. It is as broad as the Gospel and as specific as an act of love given in Jesus’ name.
Goals 1. To be a ministry of the congregation that is both pastoral and educational in scope. That is, a ministry which is sensitive to the needs and life situations of the young people involved, which offers material pertinent and relevant to the traditions of the Church. 2. To be a special part of a life long journey of faith begun at Baptism, continued, in the word of the Baptismal liturgy, ‘until the day of Jesus Christ’. 3. To assist parents in their commitment made at Baptism to ‘teach the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, the Ten Commandments’; ‘ to place in their hands the Holy Scriptures’; and to ‘Provide for their child’s instruction in Christian faith’. 4. To assist the young person to ‘identify more deeply with the Christian Community and participate more fully in its mission’. 5. To lead to the day of public affirmation of the promises God has made in Holy Baptism, that is, Confirmation Sunday.
“What is Confirmation like at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church?” At St. Stephen’s, confirmation classes for students (usually 7th and 8th graders) will be held regularly during Wednesday Night Live! beginning at 6:00 PM. Confirmands are also expected to attend Sunday School classes (Sundays from 9:45-10:45), Campfirmation, Youth activities, and SCLCY winter retreats. Throughout the course of the 2 year Confirmation Program, the following material will be covered: Year A – Old and New Testament Instruction, The Life of Jesus, and The Sacraments Year B – The Lutheran Reformation, 10 Commandments, Apostle’s Creed, Lord’s Prayer, and the Sacraments
Confirmation Camps (aka Campfirmation) Campfirmation is an important feature of St. Stephen’s confirmation ministry. In cooperation with other congregations from South and North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia these weeks are held at our Church Camps, Lutheridge located in Arden, N.C. (near Asheville) and Lutherock located in Newland, NC (the opposite side of the same mountain as Sugar Mountain Ski Resort). These camp weeks are normally geared for those who have completed their first year of Confirmation instruction. Pastors from the other congregations share in the teaching sessions. Pastor Pat’s week will focus on the Gospel according to St. Luke and Pastor Jason’s week will focus on staying connected to God through relationships, worship, prayer, service, and witness. These sessions are much less formal than our Wednesday classes. Confirmation campers also participate in regular Lutheridge/Lutherock events (recreation, creek walk, cook outs, etc.). Campers are assigned camp counselors from the Lutheridge/Lutherock staff and reside in regular Lutheridge/Lutherock accommodations. Our congregation is fortunate to be able to provide Campfirmation as part of the entire confirmation experience for our young people, expanding their horizons and their vision of the church.